UPDATE: Permian Basin Gets A Fetal Echo-Cardiographer 8/21/13
CBS 7 News
Giving your baby the best means the best care, the best testing, and the best treatment. Many pregnant women in the past have had trouble finding a licensed Fetal Echo-Sonographer but now that won't be the case in the Permian Basin.
Scarlet Rodriguez had a parent’s worst fear confirmed by a specialist; her baby had a heart condition in the womb.
"We went for the 22 week sonogram to determine the gender of the baby and that's when they found that her heart was not growing like it;s supposed to," she said. She had to see a specialized Fetal-Echo Cardiographer for her baby’s condition.
Rodriguez isn't alone. Ashleigh Lorenz has a heart problem and worried for her own child.
“I would have had to go all the way to Dallas to see her,” she said talking about a fetal-echo sonographer.
Now, traveling hundreds of miles simply to see a specialist is a thing of the past for expectant Basin mothers.
"It just makes my day to see these moms here and leave reassured that everything is okay," said Texas Tech Physician, Christin Havercroft.
Havercroft is a newly licensed Fetal-Echo Sonographer in the area.
She's happy to be able to bring ease to mother's worries and lighten the load for already swamped doctors.
"With having sonographers that are registered to do these scans, it saves the doctors time and they can see a larger volume of patients," said Havercroft.
"If they're not picked up after delivery, almost immediately when the baby switches from fetal circulation to a neonatal circulation, they can get very sick," commented Texas Tech Physician, James Maher. He specializes in Maternal and Fetal Medicine.
Statistics have already proven, our booming population means more babies are on the way and more mothers are in need of peace of mind.
"Just based on math, more people, more babies, with more echo-techs coming to the area, it's great!" said Rodriguez.
According to medical experts, there are only 26 licensed Fetal-Echo Sonographers in the state of Texas. Of those 26, only 15 are registered in Abdomen and Obstetric as well. Now, the Permian Basin is lucky to have one.
CBS 7 News
Permian Basin recently had a sonogropher just pass and complete the test to be licensed as a Fetal Echo-Cardiographer.
People have had to travel as far as Dallas in the past to find one, but now there's one right in Midland/Odessa area.
Fetal Echo-Cariographers are trained to spot any kind of irregularity in the heart of a fetus and have the ability to diagnose a child before it is born.